ON the front-page in 1969 was a young weeping bride, whose wedding had to be cancelled yet again due to the groom going missing.

Blackburn sailor Stephen Slator and his bride-to-be Marlene Martin were set for a register office ceremony, but an emergency call to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph revealed a panicked Miss Martin, who wanted help finding her bridegroom.

Mr Slator was a stoker on the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. He was not on the train he was supposed to be on from Portsmouth, and nobody could discover what had happened.

A senior naval officer said: "He was scheduled to go on leave today with the rest of the seamen from his mess and it is almost impossible for us to find out what could have happened to him, because we have more than 5,000 men on board."

The LET also contacted Euston station, where he was expected to pass through. An official agreed to out a call out, but could not promise results.

As poor Miss Marlene cried in her bedroom, Mrs Margaret Slater, said she had herself wrote to the Admiralty more than a week ago, asking for permission for her son to get the time off for his wedding.

The sailor wrote to his bride-to-be saying he would be home that morning. Miss Marlane said: "I feel much better now I know Stephen is coming home today."

The wedding was due to take place the following Monday.